March 2013 - Rachel Teodoro

Washing my dog without water just didn't get her clean + a giveaway!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cottonelle for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

This past weekend, we had a little glilmpse of spring.

The sun was shining and while it was still a bit crisp, that didn't stop us from getting outside to enjoy the weather.

Our dog Sophie is a part of our family and she loves when she gets to be included in trips to the park, long walks with the family and visits to the beach.

Sophie has never met a puddle she doesn't like. 

It could be sewer run off, a collection of water from the last rainfall, or a pond at the park, she must swim and frolic in any body of water that she finds.

Sophie's love of puddles, usually means that when we get home from an outing, she's coated in mud, and she is wet and stinky.

It's a good thing she likes water, because she gets a lot of baths!

However, today, I thought I would give her a bath, and try to get her clean without water.

 

 

While Sophie enjoyed the rub down, I don't think she got any cleaner.

And she was still pretty stinky!

Which made me think of the Cottonelle flushable wipes

and the Clean Care toilet paper that I received last month.

There seem to be a long list of things that just can't get clean without water.

Remember the Car Wash video?

If I can't get my car clean or my dog clean without water, can I really get clean in the bathroom with dry toilet paper?

Cottonelle has unveiled several hilarious hidden camera videos asking this very question.

Nothing leaves you feeling cleaner and fresher than using Cottonelle clean care toilet paper and flushable wipes, now with a more cloth like feel.

Now through June 30, you can visit Cottonelle.com to watch the whole collection of hidden camera videos and submit your entry to win one of four grand prize $10,000 bathroom makeovers!

The sweepstakes rules can be found here.

Do you need a bathroom overhaul?

Or just want to spruce it up a bit?

Leave a comment on my blog telling me what you would do with the $10.000 bathroom makeover or why you would want to win it!  One lucky winner on my blog will receive a Cottonelle care package containing the Cottonelle Fresh care flushable wipes and Cottonelle Clean care toilet paper.

After you leave a blog comment, you must like Cottonelle on Facebook and follow Cottonelle on Twitter.

Contest ends on April 30, 2013.  

Good luck!

Visit Sponsor's Site

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Happy Easter

Happy Easter!


He is risen indeed!
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What's in my cart at the Dollar Store

Since I wrote my What Not to Buy at the Dollar Store post a year ago, 
I've become something of an expert on what to buy when you shop there.
Friends stop me almost every week asking me if the Dollar Store carries an item that they are looking for.
I think the only way I could be more informed about the stock at the Dollar Store is if I were a paid employee!

That said, I thought it would be fun to start a series called
What's in my Cart at the Dollar Store


We are just a week away from Easter, and when there is a holiday, I am usually picking up a few things at the Dollar Store.

This week, I grabbed a few things to stick in the kids Easter baskets.
To see my list on other baby/toy items to buy {or not to buy} see here.
I love these cheap science kits.
I've actually seen them in stores for $7.99 each!
The sticky tumbler and super balloon balls just looked fun.
The basket stuffers were eggs that actually cracked and hatched either a chicken or a duck.
After a recent trip to a feed supply store, my kids have been begging for real life poultry. 
This is as close as they will come!


I picked up some of my son's favorite candy for his basket.
He loves anything sour.


This is the first time I have seen food coloring at the Dollar Store.
You can't screw up food coloring {can you??}
so I thought I would give it a shot.
We will use it when we color Easter eggs.
My son also loves to have colored water when he takes a bath.
I add a few drops of food coloring to the tub and he loves it!


I'm working on a project and needed some reinforcement tabs.


My oldest son's friend has just achieved the rank of Eagle Scout.
We will be celebrating his accomplishment this weekend.
I picked up a Congratulations card for him.


I am gathering snack supplies for a long car trip we will be taking.
I picked up pretzel sticks, {my husband's favorite} white cheddar popcorn and the kids favorite fruit gushers {which I am sure have no fruit in them}.
The last time I was in Mexico I stocked up on real Vanilla {it's a steal there!}
but alas, I am out.  So I got some vanilla extract too.

So, those were the things in my cart at the Dollar Store this week.
What was in your cart?

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DIY mercury glass vase filled with Lilies + gift card giveaway to buy your own!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of iBulb for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
I love fresh flowers!
I try to have a bunch of fresh flowers somewhere in my house.
Last week, it was the daffodils from my front yard.
This week, I have the most beautiful bouquet of Lilies in a DI Y mercury glass vase that I made.
There is something about having fresh flowers in your home that just brightens the space!
I want to show you how easy it is to turn a boring old vase that I bought for a quarter at a garage sale, into a beautiful work of art worthy of displaying the most beautiful flowers!
I started with a boring vase that you can pick up anywhere for super cheap.
You will also need Krylon looking glass spray paint (I searched for months and finally found it at Michael's), and a spray bottle mixed with vinegar and water (half and half).
I always wear plastic gloves when I spray paint so that I don't paint my fingers.
Looking glass spray is made to be sprayed INSIDE the vase or jar that you are painting.
You will want to spray lots of thin layers of your looking glass spray and let it dry for a minute after every coat.
As I let it dry, I turn the vase upside down and swirl the paint around the vase.
This is after 3 coats of looking glass spray.
It goes on slowly, but if you are patient, you can end up with a very neat effect.
Once you have your desired coverage (usually 10 coats), I let the vase dry for about five minutes.
After five minutes, you want to spray your vinegar/water solution on the painted area.
This will help you get those spots and lines that give mercury glass character.
Wipe the inside of the sprayed area with a paper towel.
Notice you won't get too much paint off, just enough to give it a cool effect.
Let the vase dry overnight.
In the morning, head to your local grocery store (these flowers came from my Safeway), florist or my favorite, your local farmers market, and pick up the most beautiful bouquet you can find.
I love my bouquets to include lilies because they are so fragrant.
Every time I walk past this bouqet it instantly brightens my day and makes me feel like spring is just around the corner!
The lovely people at iBulb are offering one of my lucky readers a $25 Visa gift card to purchase a bouquet of flowers and brighten their home.  If you would like to enter to win, just leave a comment about what type of craft project you like to make with the lilies if you won.  
You can check out this pinterest site for more ideas and inspiration.
A winner will be chosen one week from today.
Good luck!
Visit Sponsor's Site
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Flea and Tick free since '93!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Vectra flea & tick control for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.
Our sweet Sophie is a part of our family.
If you are a dog owner, you can probably understand and agree.
She makes us laugh when she finds crazy places to relax around the house.
She's a constant companion for our three kids, and she forces all of us to get out and enjoy some fresh air, even when it's raining!
The least we can do as pet owners is keep her healthy, happy and parasite free!
Beyond itching and scratching, fleas can carry all sorts of diseases.
Thankfully, our Sophie doesn't have fleas, but it doesn't hurt to do our best to try to prevent them with Vectra flea and tick control, especially as the days get warmer and we are spending less time in our controlled home environment and more time at dog parks, on the beach and on long walks through the woods.
Because Vectra is long lasting (one month), I can be confident that Sophie is protected this spring.
Sophie and I picked up a current free dose of Vectra flea & tick control from her vet today.  The vet even applied the medication for me, though it was easy enough that I could have done it myself!
Just pull back some of the fur on your fur babies shoulder blades, and apply generously around those areas.  Over time, the Vectra will move and protect the skin all over your dog providing a barrier for your pet from fleas and ticks.
Need a smile?
Check out this video
It's easy to get protection for your dog from fleas and ticks.
You don't have to hide your eyes any longer!
Try Vectra and Vectra 3D today!
Visit the Vectra Protect the Love facebook page for your chance to enter a weekly $100 gift card to use at your next veterinarian visit and to claim your free dose of Vectra flea and tick control.

Visit Sponsor's Site
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I'm off and running again and have some Merrell shoes for training

If you have been reading along with my blog for long enough, you would know that I run, but don't call myself a runner.  I've never embraced the title of runner even though I have trained for and completed numerous 5k's and three half marathons. 

I even went as far as to write a post about how I was hanging up my running shoes...for a little while.
When I turned 30, I celebrated my birthday by participating in my first official 5k race.
Each year, I like to celebrate turning one year older by participating in some type of athletic event during my birthday month of September.
I didn't do that last year, and I sort of missed it.

This year, I am turning 35.
Sort of a milestone birthday.
I'm hitting my mid 30's and decided to sign up and train for half marathon number four.

The good people at Merrell heard about how I was celebrating my birthday, and offered me a new pair of running shoes to help get me inspired to train for this big event.

I had no idea that Merrell had so many athletic shoes to choose from!
It was a hard decision with so many fantastic designs that don't just look good, but that perform well also.

I ultimately settled on the Road Glove Dash 2 in grey and pink.
Aren't they cute?!
I'm sure at this point we have all heard or seen the shoes that are part of the barefoot collection.
The shoes that look like toes are less my style, but these look like normal running shoes, but with the benefits of barefoot running.

Merrell Road Glove Dash 2 Grey/Pink
What are some of the benefits of barefoot running you might ask?
The Merrell Barefoot collection (found here) allows the feet to discover a more natural stride and gait, and encourages a lower impact midfoot landing.  They are designed to engage the feet efficiently, avoid injury, improve alignment and strengthen the body's core.  These super light shoes (6 oz) stimulate the senses and increase quickness and agility. 

Are you sold?  Because I was!
That sounds like everything I want in a running shoe.


I've had a few opportunities to take them out to the track for a test drive.


They are so light, comfortable and easy to run in.

Merrell has more than just running shoes.
They also have tons of mens, womens and children's shoes for anything you need.
And Merrell stays true to comfort without compromising style, even in their everyday shoes, boots and sandals. 
You can shop Merrell here.
Let's start training!
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Twine wrapped dollar store carrots

It's no secret that I like twine.
I used it in October to make twine wrapped pumpkins.
If I see twine at a garage sale I usually pick it up.
You can always find something to do with it!
So when I saw syrofoam cones at the Dollar Store the other day I picked them 
up and immediately thought carrots wrapped in twine.  

And here they are!
For about $1 a piece, you can make your own twine wrapped carrots too!


Here are the supplies that I used:
styrofoam cone
twine
faux leaves from a plant I had in my craft closet
wire cutters, for the plant leaves
hot glue gun and glue


 I started by poking a hole in the top of the styrofoam base and pushed my plant end in.
Some of the plants are harder to push in, so you may need a wooden skewer to help you make a hole first, and then push the stem in after.


I then started at the tip putting hot glue at the base and began wrapping my twine around, 
making it as pointy as possible.


I continued wrapping around my styrofoam base up the sides.


Once you get to the top, just keep wrapping the twine in as best as you can to fill the space.


That's it!
I love Dollar Store crafts!

Now my table has a centerpiece for Easter!
How do you decorate for Easter?
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Fashion trends I am not loving

I really don't like shopping at Wal-mart, but I found myself in the aisles last week.
After pushing through the produce I found myself in the junior apparel section and was appalled.
I know I wasn't in Nordstrom, but I felt like I had entered into the aisles of Goodwill or Value Village or something.
No Boundaries Juniors Floral-Print Cuffed Shorts
Floral Print Cuffed Shorts?
Yikes!
No Boundaries Juniors Enzyme Bleach Bermuda Shorts
They call these enzyme bleached bermuda shorts, 
but those look like acid washed if you ask me.
G21 Juniors Destroyed Skinny Jeans
Destroyed skinny jeans?
Looks to me like a pair of jeans from the 80's that should have stayed there.
G21 Juniors Printed Rolled Ankle Skinny Jeans
and this floral print again?
It reminds me of this blazer from the 80's.
Are they going to bring shoulder pads back too?
source
Wal-Mart isn't the only one.
Target has embraced the floral print trend too.

I am not the only one who hopes that the trends of the 80's stay in the 80's now am I?
Am I just getting old?
Do you love the floral print and neons that are making their way back into the stores?
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The adventures of my time as a Goodwill employee

When I was barely 16, I started my first job as an employee of the Westfield, Indiana Goodwill.
The job not only provided me valuable work experience during my 18 months of employment, but it satisfied my love of digging through old boxes for treasures, and sorting through piles of used clothes for gems {I got my first Giorgio Armani shirt there}. Last week, after going to the Goodwill Outlet with my friend Mandi, I started retelling some of my favorite Goodwill stories on our way home and we laughed until my side hurt!

I figured you all could probably use a few stories from my days of employment at Goodwill.
Let me start by introducing you to one of our loyal customers.
Her name is Mrs. Bryant.

Mrs. Bryant came into the store every.single.day.
She was always dressed in a business suit, panty hose and she always wore heels.
Usually open toe heels.

source
She looked like the kind of woman who got her hair done once a week at the local salon and when it rained she would wear a plastic babushka. Even though it was the mid 90's, Mrs. Bryant was very much stuck in the 60's era.

What would be seen as a very Mad Men type of style, at the time was just out of date.
She even had this same red hair, although it was always down.

You see, Mrs. Bryant was stuck in the 60's because for the past 30+ years she had been {rumored} to be serving time for murdering her husband.

Yep, murder.

Sweet.

Mrs. Bryant would call all of the employees sweetie or hon and would usually keep to herself.
All 5'1 of her would wait for hours to shop the latest household bin that was rolled out.

She would sometimes even peek her head into the backroom wondering when the next one would be full.

These are the exact baskets that we would fill up with household items and roll out to the floor as we put the merchandise away on the shelves.


When I worked at Goodwill, we had a pricing system for household objects.
We used a grease pen to mark the prices on the item.

The grease pen can be easily scratched off when you buy the item, and it makes it easier to price the item since you don't have bulky price guns or tape to mess with.

The system for pricing was that every first and last number would be the same.
For example $1.91 or $2.92 or $3.93

That way, if the first number was scratched off, the last number would indicate the price.
Something that appeared at the register for .91 cents, we knew was actually $1.91.

Clearly not rocket science to figure out the system.

Nearly every day, Mrs. Bryant tried to test our system.  She was known to "pop some tags" as Macklemore would say. She would scratch off the first number and try to pass off the item as something that cost pennies. And nearly every day we would have to remind her of our system.
Mrs. Bryant just pretended that she had no idea what we were talking about, and played dumb when we told her that the price must have gotten scratched off.  She just smiled. Pretending to be blissfully unaware.

One of Mrs. Bryant's favorite things to buy were coffee mugs.
And since Goodwill is where coffee mugs go to die, she always had a large selection to choose from.


I asked her what she did with all of the coffee mugs and she told me that she would give them to friends as gifts.  Count yourself lucky if you weren't a friend of Mrs. Bryant's. Continuing to perpetuate the rumor that she killed her husband, most of the Goodwill employees assumed that she must have poisoned his coffee. Seems to fit, don't you think?

Anyway, one day I was ringing Mrs. Bryant up and she had selected a cart full of goodies.
She was purchasing at least a half a dozen coffee mugs. She had lots of friends.
Or as the saying goes, keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

She lined all of the coffee cups up on the counter and continued to pile every household item 
in her cart up as well. The counter space was limited but she kept piling. As I reached to grab a .33 cent coffee mug to wrap it up {wouldn't want it to break now would we?}one mug pushed another mug off of the counter shattering the mug to pieces and sending ceramic glass shards into Mrs. Bryant's open toed shoes {yep, that detail earlier was important}and cutting her toe.

There was blood, but not excessive amounts.

We offered her a band aid and a paper towel and carried on with the transaction. A few weeks passed as normal.  Mrs. Bryant continued to shop every day. But one afternoon was different.

I was called into my managers office and was told that Mrs. Bryant had filed the paperwork to sue our Goodwill store because of the damage from the broken mug. Turns out Mrs. Bryant left Goodwill the day of the mug accident and headed straight for the ER.


As a mom of three kids now, if my kids would have gotten a cut on their toe like Mrs. Bryant did that day, I would have slapped a band aid on that bad boy and called it good. There was no need for an ER trip, and quite honestly, no need to sue Goodwill because of the "accident". But we carried on.
The days continued to pass as normal. Mrs. Bryant continued to shop daily. And I continued to be gainfully employed.

Several months later, I was ringing up Mrs. Bryant's purchases at the cash register. She always paid by Master Card no matter how big or small her purchase was. On this particular day I ran her credit card and the machine said it was denied. Now at this point I had worked at Goodwill for at least 6 months and never once had someone have a declined credit card.
Shocking?  Maybe.

I attempted to run the card again. Again, it was denied. I turned to Mrs. Bryant with the card in my hand and asked her, "What do I do? Do I cut it up?" She just smiled at me with that blissfully unaware grin that she always gave and replied "Oh, sweetie, of course!"

So, I took out a pair of scissors and cut that bad boy up.
Right in front of her. She was mortified. Apparently, that's only something you see in the movies.You aren't really supposed to cut up someone's credit card when it's denied.

But I was 16, working at my first job, how was I supposed to know? Believe me, I heard about it every day. She would give me a daily update to let me know that a new card hadn't arrived in the mail yet, and what an inconvenience it was. Two weeks later a new card arrived. Phew, I was getting tired of the updates.

So my friends, here are a few lessons learned from Mrs. Bryant.
*don't wear open toe shoes when shopping Goodwill
*don't cut up denied credit cards 
{unless they are your own, in which case, cut them up and start reading my living well on less series!}
*grease pens come off easily
and finally
*always smile like you are blissfully unaware

ps-you thought I was going to say don't murder your husband didn't you?
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